Monday, August 29, 2016

When we're apart, I'm a perm without a curl

You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.

These folks make me laugh. Joyful Music Monday coming right up!

Friday, August 26, 2016

The destitute and hungry

Because even the smallest of words can be the ones to hurt you, or save you.
~Natsuki Takaya

Not exactly sure how I heard about Mr. Leonard, but odds are, it was Ariana.

Keith Leonard

Ode to the Unsayable
by Keith Leonard

There was a word
I was taught
not to say
in the gym, or on
the basketball court,
the playground,
and sometimes
at home, and so
I took to picturing
this word
locked in my gut
as a sun beam staved
and skinny
dungeon inmate.

read the rest here


Today's Poetry Friday round-up is at My Juicy Little Universe. Thanks, Heidi!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A culture bonus

Well begun is half done.
~Italian proverb

Today's post of Italian art is inspired by the Italian government's "culture bonus" to people turning 18, who, as of this September, will be given 500 euro to spend on books, concert tickets, theatre tickets, cinema tickets, museum visits and trips to national parks. Awesome! *

After the attacks in Paris last year, Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister, said the government would increase defence and security spending by a billion euros, but match the sum with another billion euros to be spent on culture.

Mr Renzi, announcing the culture bonus: “This is a bonus for kids coming of age, to give them the symbolic awareness of what it means to be an adult in Italy ... We will not give in to terror … we have centuries of history that proclaim the fact that culture will beat ignorance, that beauty is more tenacious than barbarism.” (from The Telegraph)

By Juana Romani

Bucentaur's return to the pier by the Palazzo Ducale
by Giovanni Antonio Canal, il Canaletto

Allegory of Time Governed by Prudence
by Titian and workshop (1490–1576)

Coronation of the Virgin, circa 1420
by Gentile da Fabriano (1370–1427)

St Jerome
by Caravaggio

Gallery of Maps, Vatican Museum
photo by Владимир Шеляпин

Saint Elisabeth, detail
Sculpture in wood by Rudolf Moroder polychromed by Christian Delago, 1900

Sphere within Sphere
by sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro, Vatican Museum
photo by Lim Ashley

* I put together this post before the Italy earthquake. My thoughts are with those suffering.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Man, I think I might just have to love them all

Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water-bath is to the body.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Here are some songs that I've been listening to...two French groups and one American.

Christine and the Queens

Pistol Annies (I also listen to this ethically-dubious song by them a lot)


Friday, August 19, 2016

A half-broke heart's still broke

I know I am but summer to your heart,
And not the full four seasons of the year
~Edna St. Vincent Millay

Sometimes I like to use songs as writing prompts (like here and here). This one talks about beer and cigarettes, so it's not as kid-friendly as usual, but it's writer and teacher-friendly :-)

A half-truth's still a lie
"I need my space" is still goodbye
A wrong-sized shoe could look good on you,
But you'll be cussin your feet at midnight

A half-cold beer ain't cold
"I'll be back soon" is still gone
A half-smoked cigarette is still smoked
And a half-broke heart's still broke


So can you think of any couplets that go:

A _____'s still _____
_________ is still ________


A ______ ain't _______
_________ is still ________

Maybe you can come up with another variant?


The Poetry Friday round-up is at Dori Reads. Thanks, Dori!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Holding you up to my ear

One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach — waiting for a gift from the sea.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I turned to my trusted associate (my younger daughter) to ask what I should do for Art Thursday and she said "shells." So here we go...

A 18th century bronze rocaille fountain with two putti
by Carolus

Selection of Shells Arranged on Shelves
By Alexandre-Isidore Leroy De Barde

Nautilus shells to commemorate Horatio Nelson, at Monmouth Museum, Wales
photo by John Cummings

Festons, masques et rosettes de coquillages
by Jan van Kessel the Elder

New systematic Conchylien Cabinet
by Friedrich Heinrich Wilhelm Martini and Johann Hieronymus Chemnitz
By Internet Archive Book Images

The Miraculous Adventures of Baron Münchhausen
by Gottfried Franz (1846-1905)

The Scallop, Maggi Hambling, Aldeburgh
"I hear those voices that will not be drowned"

Silver writing set, Kunsthistorisches Museum
This silver casket with various writing utensils was made by the famous Nuremberg goldmsith Wenzel Jamnitzer (1507/08-1585), who frequently worked for the House of Habsburg

Kahelelani (Niihau) shell lei, Hawaii State Art Museum

Monday, August 15, 2016

Ba duba dop

Plant a seed, plant a flower, plant a rose
You can plant any one of those
Keep planting to find out which one grows
It's a secret no one knows

Feel good music for Monday morning:

Friday, August 12, 2016


Ô, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth.
~Roman Payne

A poem by Michael McClintock today:

The Poetry Friday round-up is at To Read To Write To Be. Thanks, Julieanne!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Harvest Time

If you tickle the earth with a hoe, she laughs with a harvest.
~Douglas Jerrold

Spotlighting harvest time, albeit a bit wistfully. I don't usually have much of a harvest, but my parents do. This year, though, they have had so much rain that only the grass and weeds have thrived.

Saison d-Octobre Recolte des pommes de terre
by Jules Bastien-Lepage

Zweispänniges wagon with harvest helpers on the road on a summer day, 1904
by Fritz Grätz (1875–1915)

By Unknown ("Showell"), 1939-46

The Apple Gatherers
by Frederick Morgan

Breton peasants, circa 1889
by Émile Bernard

Le rappel des glaneuses
By Jules Breton

by John Linnell

Friday, August 5, 2016

The One Exception

Everybody wants to save the Earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.
~P.J. O'Rourke

I'm out of town today, but I'm sharing a humorous poem from "Poetry for Modern Mindfulness" by Jenny Allen.

photo by soikkoratamo

Doing the Dishes

by Jenny Allen

Breathing in, I wash the dishes,
Aware of their usefulness in holding
Nourishing meals that have sustained my family for many years.
I wonder why it is always, always me doing the dishes
By myself,
And whether, interconnected as all human beings are,
This may be the one exception.

read the rest here


Allen's poem is a pseudo gatha. Here are real gathas.

A Teaching Life has the Poetry Friday round-up today. Thanks, Tara!

Thursday, August 4, 2016


"Never," said Hagrid irritably, "try an' get a straight answer out of a centaur."
~J.K. Rowling

My younger daughter picked today's topic. Centaurs! I'm really curious about the centaur who is shooting its own tail (on Georgian money). What's up with that?

Centaur, Basilica San Giulio, 12th century
photo by Wolfgang Sauber

by John LaFarge

Centaur (Harry Potter Studio Tour)
photo by Peyton Eyre

Chiron and Achilles c1922-1925
by John Singer Sargent

Bestiary, Royal MS, 1200-1210

The Centaurs Nobody Respects
by Will McPhail

National Bank of Georgia